Feuding ex-Defence League Activists

In Norway, Dagbladet reports a strange story about Lena Andreassen, former head of the Norwegian Defence League. Andreassen has reappeared after being reported missing to the police while on a trip to the UK, and the paper has described and published what are alleged to be emails and texts from Alan Lake.

Andreassen came to wider press attention in July following the Utoya massacre: she stated that Anders Breivik had formerly been associated with the NDL (which probably means no more than that he was a forum member), but that she had expelled him on becoming leader because he was “too extreme”. It’s not clear when she herself stepped down from leading the NDL, although a rally she organised in April attracted only a handful of participants (including Darren Lee from the UK – as Darren Marsh, he has commented on my blog here).

Alan Lake, meanwhile, has been described as the English Defence League’s “financier”, although he has stated that his financial involvement has been exaggerated. For their part, the EDL officially repudiated Lake in August, after bad publicity arising from some of his statements.

Dagbladet further reports that Andreassen has been in contact with Paul Ray, another early organizer of the EDL who is now estranged from it. Ray’s interest in “Templar” matters and his “Lionheart” blog-identity prompted media speculation that he may have been the mysterious “mentor” mentioned in Breivik’s manifesto – I explained here why this can’t be the case. Alan Lake was among those pointing the finger, and Ray in turn has accused Lake of being the mentor. However, Lake has no interest in Crusader fetishism, and I’m inclined to the conclusion that Breivik’s “mentor” is a fantasy figure.

The two text messages allegedly from Lake and published in Dagbladet refer to Ray (second image partly obscured by photo flash, missing text taken from article):

[1] Paul Ray? How much must I pay to get rid of him for good?

[2] Try to meet him on a boat, it is better on a boat. But take along some rope and some heavy bricks or something :-) Just in case you need them. [It is always] handy stuff when you are [aboard a boat].

Doubtless Lake (assuming the texts are genuine) is here expressing his annoyance at Ray for accusing him, and for numerous abusive posts on Ray’s blog (some including images that superimpose swastikas onto pictures of Lake).

The texts were allegedly sent on 24 August, and photos of them were apparently forwarded to Ray after Andreassen and Lake themselves fell out (towards the end of September). Further Facebook posts and emails have been reproduced on another blog. Assuming the items are genuine, Lake has accused Andreassen of a breach of confidentially to a journalist which may have put his family at risk, and he has threatened to report her to social services in Norway over her care for her own child. Andreassen has responded by twisting this into the incorrect claim that Lake has threatened her child.

Ray, meanwhile, has cautioned Lake to back off with a typically-modest Biblical quotation:

Psalm 105:15 “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”

UPDATE: An interview with Andreassen was published in Dagbladet on 24 October. While her account is vague, she claims that she had traveled to Newcastle to meet friends who were former EDL members, and and that she was held against her will in an apartment for two weeks after overhearing someone making threats on the phone. Further, she now claims that joining the NDL was the “stupidest thing” she had ever done, and that she is not against “ordinary” Muslim immigrants to Norway.